ALS, formally known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a rare neurological disease involving the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement, such as chewing, walking, breathing and talking.
ALS is progressive, where the condition becomes more severe over time. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Please remember that this list is not exhaustive, and ALS symptoms can vary from person to person. It’s crucial to consult a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and individualized information.
The exact cause of ALS is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genetic mutations, exposure to toxins, excitotoxicity, and oxidative stress are among the factors that may contribute to the development of ALS. However, more research is needed to establish definitive links.
ALS can affect individuals of any age, race, or ethnicity, although it is more commonly diagnosed in people aged 40-70.
Men are slightly more prone to developing ALS. While most cases occur sporadically, around 5-10% are inherited. Certain genetic mutations and a family history of ALS can increase the risk.
ALS is relatively rare compared to other neurological disorders and does not show specific preferences based on gender or ethnicity.
Presently, there is no cure for ALS. However, treatments available can help control symptoms, prevent unnecessary complications, and make living with the disease more manageable.
Most with ALS have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years from when the symptoms first appear. However, about 10% of people with ALS survive for ten or more years.
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is to seek fundamental knowledge about ALS.
The goals of NINDS research on ALS are to understand the mechanisms involved in the development and progression of the disease, investigate the influence of genetics and other potential risk factors, identify biomarkers, and develop new and more effective treatments.
ALS areas of research:
Power wheelchairs are essential mobility solutions for individuals with ALS, offering electric-powered movement and increased independence.
These wheelchairs feature customizable seating options for comfort and proper positioning.
With their maneuverability and adaptability, power wheelchairs enable individuals to navigate various environments. They can also integrate with assistive technologies, enhancing communication and control.
As ALS progresses, power wheelchairs can be modified to meet changing needs, providing continued mobility and improving the individual’s overall quality of life.
People with ALS often require power mobility assistance quickly due to the disease’s rapid progression. Here are some considerations for the different stages of ALS:
By considering these factors and adapting power mobility solutions accordingly, individuals with ALS can maintain optimal mobility, comfort, and independence throughout the progression of the disease.
Based on the mobility needs of an individual with ALS, they may benefit from a power base with the ability to accept full seating and positioning options, various drive controls, and power positioning.
They can accommodate a vent tray and oxygen holder. The Edge 3 and Q6 Edge 2 fit these criteria and are options for a person in the beginning stages of ALS.
Huntington’s disease is an inherited disorder that causes degeneration of brain cells in the motor control regions of the brain and other areas.
Symptoms of the disease, which become progressively worse, include uncontrolled movements, abnormal body postures, and changes in behaviour, emotion, judgment, and cognition.